LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KGO) -- It is an absolute mess in the Sierra with homes and cars buried in snow and an avalanche that slammed into a building in Olympic Valley in Tahoe.
People who live, work, and are visiting the Sierra are facing treacherous conditions.
Several feet of new snow have fallen in just 24 hours!
So much snow in such a short amount of time.
This is the view outside Neil Lareau's kitchen window in Truckee.
In Soda Springs at the UCB Central Sierra Snow Lab, the snow has also piled up fast.
"Having three feet come into 24 hours is absolutely fantastic. And it was a wild ride with the blizzard conditions that we were in," said Andrew Schwartz, lead scientist at the Central Sierra Snow Lab.
And over the past week, almost 12 feet of snow has fallen in soda springs.
Schwartz explains what's surprising.
"How light and fluffy this snow is these cooler than average temperatures mean that it's very light and fluffy and not that same Sierra cement that we normally get," said Schwartz.
People say conditions have been treacherous on the roads and in the mountains.
"The conditions are pretty serious. The entire Lake Tahoe area is completely buried," said Szabo.
Maxwell Szabo is bay area PR professional staying in Olympic Valley in Tahoe. He had to dig his car out of the snow every day this week.
And then at 12:30 am..."The sheriff's office banged on the door. We woke up went to the door. They indicated we needed to shelter in place or evacuate," said Szabo.
An avalanche hit the three-story condo complex next door to Szabo's place.
"The condo right next door to ours had the windows blown out. 238 there was a trash can I saw this morning that had been tossed across the parking lot about 30 feet," said Szabo.
Fortunately, no one was hurt and about a dozen people evacuated with help from the fire department.
Szabo says people had to shelter in place for the past 48 hours; his friend couldn't dig her car out to get anywhere. Because she was stranded, she skied down to Highway 89 to get picked up.
The high winds and blizzard conditions and winds have calmed down on this Wednesday.
Szabo expects I-80 to reopen at some point.
Meanwhile, scientist Andrew Schwartz says we have disappointed with sierra snowfall for too long now because of the drought. But now...
"I think it finally time to be very optimistic. It's time to be excited about this snow and that it has come in the way that it has and that there's more in the forecast," said Schwartz.
We checked in with several ski resorts.
Palisades Tahoe has reached 500 inches of snow this season--that's nearly 42 feet. That's 100 inches more than it usually gets for an entire season
In Truckee at 5 a.m. Thursday, it's forecasted to be one degree Fahrenheit.
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